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Japanese birth certificates for UK passport application

Muzuhashi

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I'm applying for UK passports for my children and have been told that I need to send their 'original' Japanese birth certificates plus translations. The translations won't be a problem, but when my wife went to City Hall the other day, she was told that she couldn't take away the originals, only official copies (ie. with the official City Hall stamp on them). Has anyone else sent off Japanese birth certificates as supporting documents for a UK passport application, and if so, did you manage to get hold of the originals, or was an official copy (plus translation) sufficient? Incidentally, my children already have UK birth certificates obtained through the British Embassy, but I've been told these alone are not sufficient. (Speaking of which, the entire process of applying for the passports has been an enormous pain in the backside, and information about what supporting documents I should provide has been completely inconsistent. They keep on asking me for new stuff which hasn't been mentioned before, something that forced me to cancel my first application at the cost of over 100 pounds. But anyway, that's just me complaining...!)
 

Lothor

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I'm applying for UK passports for my children and have been told that I need to send their 'original' Japanese birth certificates plus translations. The translations won't be a problem, but when my wife went to City Hall the other day, she was told that she couldn't take away the originals, only official copies (ie. with the official City Hall stamp on them). Has anyone else sent off Japanese birth certificates as supporting documents for a UK passport application, and if so, did you manage to get hold of the originals, or was an official copy (plus translation) sufficient? Incidentally, my children already have UK birth certificates obtained through the British Embassy, but I've been told these alone are not sufficient. (Speaking of which, the entire process of applying for the passports has been an enormous pain in the backside, and information about what supporting documents I should provide has been completely inconsistent. They keep on asking me for new stuff which hasn't been mentioned before, something that forced me to cancel my first application at the cost of over 100 pounds. But anyway, that's just me complaining...!)
I feel your pain! One thought - would the passport office - I assume that you are using the one in Hong Kong - be able to tell the difference between an original Japanese birth certificate and an official copy?
I've found that when I've made every reasonable effort to satisfy bureaucratic requirements and it's still not enough, I resort to letters of complaint (which after all would add to the evidence that you are a bona fide applicant). Last year I had problems with a British bank who made it ridiculously difficult to prove to them that I had changed addresses within Japan, and they relaxed their requirements after making three attempts to satisfy them, accompanied by increasingly irate letters.
 
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Muzuhashi

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I feel your pain! One thought - would the passport office - I assume that you are using the one in Hong Kong - be able to tell the difference between an original Japanese birth certificate and an official copy?
I've found that when I've made every reasonable effort to satisfy bureaucratic requirements and it's still not enough, I resort to letters of complaint (which after all would add to the evidence that you are a bona fide applicant). Last year I had problems with a British bank who made it ridiculously difficult to prove to them that I had changed addresses within Japan, and they relaxed their requirements after making three attempts to satisfy them, accompanied by increasingly irate letters.
Hello and thank you very much for the reply! Actually I'm applying through the passport office in Belfast (I looked into getting passports a couple of years ago and at the time it seemed like Hong Kong was the only option, but this time Hong Kong was never mentioned during the application process - I don't know for sure but maybe they changed the system?). Unfortunately the documents are clearly photocopies, as the originals are handwritten (unlike some of the other documentation you get from City Hall, like kosekitohon, for example, which are nice printouts on special paper etc), so I won't be able to pretend otherwise, but writing a letter of complaint - or at least asserting the reasonable-ness of my argument while I'm dealing with them - is a good idea. I suspect the folks at the passport office don't have that much time on their hands to argue, so if I'm lucky they might just give up and let the application go through!
 

Lothor

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Hello and thank you very much for the reply! Actually I'm applying through the passport office in Belfast (I looked into getting passports a couple of years ago and at the time it seemed like Hong Kong was the only option, but this time Hong Kong was never mentioned during the application process - I don't know for sure but maybe they changed the system?). Unfortunately the documents are clearly photocopies, as the originals are handwritten (unlike some of the other documentation you get from City Hall, like kosekitohon, for example, which are nice printouts on special paper etc), so I won't be able to pretend otherwise, but writing a letter of complaint - or at least asserting the reasonable-ness of my argument while I'm dealing with them - is a good idea. I suspect the folks at the passport office don't have that much time on their hands to argue, so if I'm lucky they might just give up and let the application go through!
I live in Japan and had to renew my passport about 3 years ago and was instructed by the Tokyo embassy website to go through the office in Hong Kong. I don't know whether the system has changed since then.
Good luck.
 

Muzuhashi

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I feel your pain! One thought - would the passport office - I assume that you are using the one in Hong Kong - be able to tell the difference between an original Japanese birth certificate and an official copy?
I've found that when I've made every reasonable effort to satisfy bureaucratic requirements and it's still not enough, I resort to letters of complaint (which after all would add to the evidence that you are a bona fide applicant). Last year I had problems with a British bank who made it ridiculously difficult to prove to them that I had changed addresses within Japan, and they relaxed their requirements after making three attempts to satisfy them, accompanied by increasingly irate letters.
A quick update: after much toing and froing, the other day we finally received UK passports for our children, so it looks like your irate letter suggestion worked! (Among other things, I pointed out to them that if my own UK birth certificate is a 'copy of an entry', why shouldn't my children's Japanese birth certificates be the same?) I subsequently heard from a Japanese friend who works at City Hall that foreigners in a similar situation sometimes submit their kosekitohon, but in the end - and thankfully - I managed to get away with just the shusseishomeisho (plus English translations, plus a whole load of other documents I had already presented to the UK Embassy in Tokyo to get my children's UK birth certificates, but anyway...). Thanks once again for the advice, and here's hoping the renewal process in five years' time will be less painful!
 
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